Licensing Executives Society ANZ - May Edition
A Word from our President
I started off thinking that my focus as president would be revitalising LESANZ in a (hopefully) post-pandemic environment. Which it still is but, on realizing that my term will straddle the 50th Anniversary of LESANZ, I also want to celebrate all that has happened to make LESANZ the wonderful organisation that it is today and to help position it to continue to be so for the next 50 years.
Paraphrasing Past-president Rodney de Boos (who joined LESANZ in 1974 - its first year of being), he was “sent along by his boss to learn all he could about this new approach of IP licensing, that was only practiced in a very few companies, so that it could be more widely used”.
Since then, the field of IP commercialisation (and LESANZ membership along with it) has continued to grow and expand. Traditional legal and IP firms have undergone significant changes in recent times: merging of larger companies, emergence of new smaller firms and in-house opportunities becoming more prevalent. IP/commercialisation professionals are now found in companies and organisations of all sizes across a wide range of industries including universities and research organisations. The ecosystem has expanded with increasing governmental interest in generating returns from their investment in R&D and the emergence of a plethora of funders, incubators, accelerators, connectors, investors, and consultants along with suppliers of supporting tools and services. People from all of these backgrounds find a welcome home in the LESANZ family, sharing their experience and networks.
Key challenges going forward include providing value for the diversity of our membership and finding what the new post-pandemic “normal” means for engagement and delivering that value. One exciting project we are about to trial is a mentoring programme to connect particular emerging professionals into the wealth of experience we have in our membership (see more detail below).
Intro to the Board/Trustees Series | Sue Muggleston - President
Sue first joined LESANZ almost 20 years ago when she moved into an IP role in a mid-career change. She wanted to rapidly learn as much as she could about all aspects of IP and especially licensing. A good way to test and cement your learning is to teach it to others so, in 2005, Sue took part in a LESI Train-the-Trainer programme for their multi-day Intellectual Asset Management/Licensing Course. She started off presenting just a small part of the course but gradually gained confidence with the support of other talented trainers. Sue first became a LESANZ Trustee in 2013 where she championed our education activities which eventually lead to the development of our own Fundamentals and Intermediate Licensing Courses that are now LESANZ’ core offering and have been attended by over 350 people (including via an online format).
In 2018 Sue orchestrated the set up and oversaw the successful introduction of the new LESANZ Corporate. Over 20 companies (around 120 individuals) have now taken up this option and it is now our largest membership category. This initiative provided greater connection and flexibility with our corporate members and improved our engagement within those businesses.
Sue was the Chair for the 2020 Annual Conference which was to be held in Christchurch, NZ before COVID forced its cancellation. In 2021 she was again Conference Chair for our first ever fully virtually conference. During 2020 she was convinced to step up to take on the role of Vice President which of course put her on the path to President Elect and now President. She is the 5th female president and the 4th from NZ.
In her day job Sue is Intellectual Property Manager at Plant & Food Research in NZ. She has worked there for very many years in many different roles across the organisation, primarily in different aspects of technology transfer and more recently in IP, commercialisation and business development. She found her passion in developing others in this area: her immediate team, students and across the organisation.
Outside of work Sue loves having a productive garden, preserving its bounty, trying her hand at making everything from cheese to gin, and crafts such as card and jewellery making. Sue loves to travel with her most recent adventure being to Antarctica earlier this year.
Past Presidents Series | John Stonier
John Stonier was awarded the first ever LESANZ Honorary Membership in February 2019 but sadly passed away in October that year.
John is very much one of the ‘founding fathers’ of LESANZ in Australia. In 1971, he had returned from studying for an MBA in the USA to join BHP, where he worked for an American, Pete Horgan, who had been brought in to bring international commercial expertise to BHP. Being American, and an LES member, Pete encouraged John to look into LES USA/Canada and to consider whether there might be role for a Society here in Australia. Three years later, in March 1974, the first meeting of what was to be (then) LES Australia was convened in Sydney. The meeting attracted about 90 people, including several international LES dignitaries, and John was elected as the first Secretary of the organisation. The principal focus of the Society then, as now, was education. The whole rationale of the LES family at that stage was to teach people about licensing and encourage the development of a business environment in which IP transactions could proceed more smoothly.
As well as a period as National President of LESANZ, John also went on to become the first LESANZ member to serve as President of LES International in 1980. He was then awarded the prestigious LESI Gold Medal in 1986 in recognition of his significant contributions to our global society. John continued to maintain his involvement with LESANZ for many years to follow, ever present at functions and national conferences and always there to guide and encourage the next wave of office bearers.
John's full speech upon receiving his Honorary Membership, which outlines his contribution to LESANZ is available below in .pdf
Mentoring Pilot 2023
LESANZ is seeking expressions of interest from Emerging Professionals who would be interested in receiving mentorship in a 6 month pilot programme.
We are trialling a mentoring programme as a more formal way of sharing the vast wealth of experience that exists within LESANZ, building on the foundation of our values of family, sharing, support, personal growth, development and extending networks. LESANZ membership covers a wide range of experience across the spectrum of legal, IP protection and commercialisation across diverse sectors and companies/organisations. Mentoring provides an opportunity for you to tap into this experience to help you develop your career, achieve a short-term goal, or deal with inter-personal issues in the work place.
Please provide one paragraph (no more than 400 words) outlining what you would like to get out of the mentoring programme and what specific aspects you would like to address (this will help us to best match you with a mentor). Email this to Beth Benson by 30 June.
Conference Update | 50th Anniversary 2024
Next year marks the 50th Anniversary of LESANZ and we are planning a very special conference to celebrate this momentous occasion.
The 2024 Annual Conference will be held in Sydney on 6-8th March – 50 years to the day and where it all began. Put these dates in your calendar as we hope you will come and help us celebrate.